We all love having plants around—provided we can keep them alive—but forking out money for stylish-looking planters can quickly rack up a big bill.
Brittni Mehlhoff, founder of Paper & Stitch and DIY-er extraordinaire, is passionate about creating fun projects that don’t take a lot of time or money to perfect. And since planters are both functional and easy to make, they are ideal for the spring and summer months when you want to bring a bit of nature indoors.
Her biggest tip? Pay attention to the type of plant you’re potting and figure out the necessary water draining system before you start your DIY. “If the container you’re using doesn’t have proper drainage, you can drill a few holes in the bottom to allow excess water some place to go and add a plate underneath to avoid a mess later,” says Mehlhoff.
A former art teacher who has a BFA in painting and drawing, Mehlhoff certainly knows a thing or two about design. “Of all the DIY projects I create, my faves are always functional and easy to make,” says Mehlhodd. “DIY planters definitely check those two boxes for me, and are perfect spring and summer projects to try.”
When coming up with this DIY, Mehlhoff wanted to find a way to incorporate the color into the material rather than just painting it on top of the plaster. With the help of plaster powder, powdered tempera paint (the key component) and silicone shot glass molds, she created these adorable mini planters perfect for housing succulents. Just be sure to set each planter with a matte medium to create a thin layer of plastic—this ensures they’re not soluble and won’t wear down when you’re watering your plants.
Alternatively, try these mini vases. You can use them to store plants in, though Mehlhoff suggests adding magnets to the back and hanging them on the fridge to display other household objects. All you need is oven-bake or air-dry clay in two or three different colors to get the marbled look, and you’ll have useful little containers in which to keep anything from office supplies to bobby pins in no time.
Instead of embarking on a whole new project, why not simply upgrade something you already have? For this DIY, Mehlhoff made her rusty planters new again with a protective enamel spray paint for a modern, minimal feel. It’s a simple trick that will completely transform your old items.
Speaking of simple tricks, this hack using an old bottle of lotion is seriously genius. Upcycle your empty containers by using them as molds for planters made out of cement. You’ll get some uber-chic looking planters and help the environment in the process. As an added bonus, Mehlhoff has included her top tips for recycling in the article.
Inexpensive hanging planters with a flimsy string get a stylish upgrade with this easy DIY. All you need is some flat finish house paint in the shade of your choosing and some sturdy rope to create fun and colorful planters.
When making hanging planters, Mehlhoff recommends paying special attention to the drainage needed for watering your new greenery. “Add a layer of rocks at the bottom of the planter and keep the plant in a shallow starter container —they already have holes usually— on top of the rocks to allow water to drain from the plant, without draining all over your floor,” says Mehlhoff.